Fri, 20 Sep 2019

Trump, Saudi Arabia Issue New Threats To Iran

20 May 2019, 22:15 GMT+10

U.S. President Donald Trump has issued a new threat to Iran, saying a conflict would be the 'official end' of the Islamic republic.

Trump's remarks on May 20 came as Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, warned it was ready to respond to Tehran's alleged provocations with 'all strength.'

Washington and Riyadh's remarks came amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, with concerns about a potential military conflict.

Washington has ordered a beefing up of U.S. military assets in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, citing possible threats from Iran, and the State Department also ordered the evacuation of all nonessential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Iraq.

Iran has said it does not want a war and dismissed the allegations from Washington that there were 'imminent threats' from Tehran.

A rocket landed in Baghdad's Green Zone near the U.S. Embassy compound on May 19 but caused no casualties or significant damage. There were no claims of responsibility.

'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!' Trump said in a tweet on May 20.

Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of ordering last week's drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, an attack claimed by Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Last May, Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal that curtailed Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions. Since then, Washington has steadily stepped up its rhetoric and reimposed sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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